Category Archives: personal

Would you rather: go to church or the football game


My little UU congregation is pretty small, so when our fund raising honcho brought up the idea that we could make some pretty good coin by working at the Houston Texans’ football games we were a little hesitant.  She did some research and said we needed at least 25 people to volunteer to work our stand. Ouch.

Amazingly 25 people signed up and  I was one of them.  I mean, through her research she said we could earn anywhere from ten to twelve thousand dollars over the course of the season.  We’d be fools to pass up the chance.

Well, it didn’t really happen like we planned because like most things at my church, people didn’t show up. We need at a minimum 11 people to be there and most times we’re barely scraping up eight or nine of the 25 volunteers who originally signed up.  It really sucks.  And I hate to admit it but I was one of them who wasn’t showing up.  Seemed like every Sunday we were supposed to be there something was going on with me.  Hell, one time I was scheduled to teach Sunday school.  It’s kinda hard to tell the preacher man I can’t teach our little ones about our UU principles because I have to go pour beer at the Texans game. Ugh. Looks worse to see that actually written out.

So, I finally made it out to the stadium about a month or so ago and have worked two games so far. I was supposed to be there a few nights ago for Monday Night Football against the Ravens.

I couldn’t get off work as early as I needed to be able to get there at 4:30.  With a 45 minute drive from my office, I wound up at the lot where we normally park at 5:15 which was still about 15 minutes until check-in ended. I think I could have made it but Continue reading

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Battle scars


I’m not sure if something is going around or if everyone in my office has a case of the Friday flu but two of my co-workers are out and two others came in late claiming a child was sick. If we had a couple dozen employees it might go unnoticed but when there are only seven of us… well, it raises an eyebrow.

Something is definitely going around though as The Boy woke us up at 3:30 Thursday morning after having barfed his guts up. All morning and into the afternoon he slept in between having it shoot out of both ends of him. I know… probably too much info.

He seemed to get better then he’d barf up again, his fever would raise a half degree or so then he’d sleep. A couple of hours later he would drink just a little then the same series of events would happen.

Finally about 8:00pm or so we decided to take him to the hospital. We worried of appendicitis because his low-grade fever wasn’t really coming down. Well the doc said it was probably viral since he’d had four other kids come in with the same stuff. Something’s probably going around.

He poked around on his belly and didn’t feel like it was appendicitis. So he prescribed fluids.

The Boy immediately started crying because he knew what that meant.

A pokey.

The Deistette had been telling him all day Continue reading

slap me silly and call me MacGyver


So I’m still doing home improvements.  I’ve lived in my house almost 13 years and I don’t think I’ve done this much improvement in all those years combined as I have in the past year.  Most (ok, actually all) of it being spurred by ugly letters from my home owners association, The Deistette’s deathly allergies to mold and hurricane Ike having torn pieces of my house off a couple of years ago.

So last weekend the project was to tear off a small patch of siding and replace it and the insulation underneath.  Easy enough I guess.  It’s only about three and a half feet high and not quite six feet wide with a three foot square window in the middle.

I feel compelled to note that a little challenge to this project is it’s on the second floor of the house and by the way, I have an extreme fear of heights.  This little affliction didn’t serve me well while in the military.

So I go the local big box home improvement store to get the stuff I need.

Another thing to mention… Continue reading

till living doesn’t feel like giving up


About twice a month, sometimes three or four times a month I have to travel to different municipal or state agencies to file things for clients of my company. And now and again I’ll go see a few of clients during the month.

As a result I see quite a bit of the city as I drive around. Probably not nearly as much as some outside sales people but more than your average guy stuck in an office.

So last week I was on my way back from the State Comptroller’s Office and I saw a guy on a corner holding a sign. There are so many people doing this. Unbelievable how many. And it’s sad that in our country people have had to resort to this to stay alive.

But for some I wonder if it really is their last option. I mean there’s a a young guy (mid to late 20’s) near my office who claims on his sign to be a Marine Corps veteran. I don’t know, maybe he is. There is a couple that looks to be in their mid-50’s who wheel their down syndrome daughter out to the side of the road with them asking for money. There is one woman I remember seeing who put on such a display of despair as motorists drove by I felt embarrassed for her because it seemed so fake.

Maybe I’m just too jaded or I don’t know… wary. But these three examples of people begging for subsistence seems like an act. And so last week, when I saw yet another guy, holding a sign, I didn’t think much of it but the light turned red and I had a chance to…

well to pay a little more attention.

I don’t know. Something about his posture. Something about him just made me think twice give in. So I rolled down my window and gave him a few dollars. When he came up to me I said, “hang in there brother. Hang in there.” He said, “I’m trying. I’m giving it all to God. God bless you young man. Thank you so much.”

In our exchange he seemed ashamed and I couldn’t tell if it was sweat or tears that lined his cheeks but I was moved.

I don’t know what his story is. I don’t know if he really is out of work, is mentally disturbed, a scam artist, an artist artist, or Jesus come down to judge us but this song by a local singer/songwrier was playing on my CD player as I sat at the red light and it made the whole scene… the whole interaction so much more real.  And I felt sorry for him. And I prayed a little prayer for him. And I had tears in my eyes, perhaps not only for him but myself as well.  I am thankful for grace of God, my good fortune and own determination that I am not in his place.

Music by Sara Van Buskirk
Find more of Sara’s music here

a vivid memory made


I have three friends from church who play in a band with me. The whole thing is kinda surreal. I mean we started out thinking we’d just play a little music, if we got good enough maybe… MAYBE play for a church service now and again.

Three years later we’ve put out a CD, got it placed on iTunes!… gigged around a little and made some people happy with our music. And yes… now and again we play for our church during a Sunday service.

It’s pretty amazing when I think about that and all we’ve done with this band of ours.

Well, a couple of weeks ago we had gig… another outside gig.  Seems like the only place we play is outside.  It was a benefit for three girls whose families needed financial help after their daughters got into an ATV accident.  It was the furthest we’d ever traveled to play a show.  About 50 miles away from our homes.

Little Fawn (my 16 year old daughter for any new readers) came along with us just to kinda be there, plus I handed her my camera so she could get some pics of us.

There was a lot going on. It was held at a restaurant that sits right against the banks of a lake.  There were hot girls in bikinis and fellas with ripped abs coming in off the lake.  There was a silent auction going on inside as well as a garage sale happening in the parking lot.  A fishing tournament had started earlier in the morning and people were tracking that.

Anyway, I say all this to let you know we weren’t the only thing being given any attention.  So as we were playing we could tell there were only a handfull of people really listening to us so we thought we’d drag out a song that is kind of a favorite of ours although most certainly unknown to anyone outside a UU church.

And so here’s the memory, that I pray lasts me till my dying day.

The song we decided to pull out is a popular UU hymn that uses words by the Sufi mystic, Rumi.

We play it as a round and as we got into the singing part… particularly MY singing part, Little Fawn was singing along to herself.  I could see her, as she peered into the camera’s monitor to see the most recent  picture she had taken, singing along.  She was busy… somewhat distracted as she pressed the buttons, moved back and forth through the pics… deleting one, saving another… and singing… with her daddy.

She knows all the words. She knows the melody.  And it means more than I can describe that she likes it enough that she couldn’t “keep from singing”. (part of the title of another popular UU hymn)

I am forever grateful for that moment when I looked up at just the right time to see my baby girl singing this song with me in a place where it probably never has been heard or ever will be heard, again.

The Deistette is really just a momma’s-girl


Emmie’s mom is coming to live with us.  She’s coming to live with us in two days.

Yes, you read that right. My mother in-law is coming to live with me, my wife, my stepson, my daughter (on the weekends she’s here) our dog and two cats in our teeny tiny 1,190 square foot house.

They are both are extremely excited about the prospect. Me… I don’t know. I was talking to her (my mother in-law) on the phone last night and she said how excited she was about it and how she’s really looking forward to being here with us.

She asked if I was excited.  I kinda felt put on the spot.  I didn’t really know how to answer because “excited” is definitely NOT the word I would use to describe how I’m feeling about this.  I would probably use words like “nervous”, “worried”, “anxious”, “concerned”.

I mean for one, it’s a small house.  Three very small bedrooms with only one and a half baths.  Secondly, Emmie and I are still getting to know each other.   We’ve only been married for about a year and a half.

But I know Em is excited.  It’s been hard for her being here in Houston not knowing anyone and her momma living in the panhandle.  She says she’s nervous but I know she’s really happy about her mom coming here.

And so… I am happy.

There have been a couple of major events I’ve written about on the ol’ blog.  I believe this can be added to the list.

Necessity is the mother of invention


Ok, so I didn’t invent anything but necessity bred a strong impulse to learn to become a cabinet installer, plumber, sheet rock installer, mold abatement guy, and all around Do-It-Yourselfer.

You see, the reason I’ve been gone from the interwebs for a while is I had to rebuild my kitchen. Not completely but there was a pretty good chunk to fix because I had a leak underneath the sink.

Actually this story goes way further back than that. I bought the house we live in 12 years ago and the guy I bought it from told me that someone had broken in to the house from the kitchen window several years before and in doing so broke a pipe. He apparently didn’t have it fixed right and I being a first-time home buyer didn’t know I could tell him, “fix it or I won’t buy it.” I figured it was an “as-is” sort of sale.

Anyway, 12 years of neglect finally caught up with me.

Like I said we had a leak. Who knows how long the leak had been dribbling out of the sink because we never, ever open that cabinet. But here is what started it all. That is the drain basket that attaches to the sink and to the drain pipes.  Somehow it had worked itself loose of the drain basket.

Some of my blog peeps might remember I’ve written before how The Deistette is highly allergic (pretty much ‘deathly’ allergic) to mold. A few weeks before my brother came over to help rip it all out, she was having bad allergy attacks (her sinus were so inflamed she had nose bleeds) and we didn’t know what was causing it.  We just figured it was pollen.  Continue reading

food poisoning sucks


Ugh… on Tuesday night The Deistette and I were doing the evening ritual of  figuring out something for dinner.  It’s been hard lately since my brother and I destroyed the kitchen (a post on that coming soon).

The Deistette decides she’ll just use some left over rotisserie chicken and make a salad for herself.  I can have a sandwich and add a little nutrition with some lettuce.  The boy can have left over chicken and fried rice.  Tah dahhh!… another dinner crisis averted.

About an hour later, Emmie started to feel a little clammy and nauseated.  Not 30 seconds after she told me she was feeling bad did she lose it.  I get really nervous when she hurls her food.  She is so tiny that she needs to keep every ounce in her that she can.  But she doesn’t have a gallbladder so she can only intake so much fat, she has celiac disease (she has to eat gluten-free) and on top of those two things is allergic to a few foods.

Anyway, so she feels better after her little episode and we try to figure out why it happened.  We have no idea since nothing was wrong with me.  Well about 5:30 in the morning Continue reading

You can’t save ’em all…


I’m going to brag on The Deistette a little.  It is no exaggeration to say that she is a hero, a lifesaver.  A God-send… at least to a few.

Since she moved here in September of ’08, I have seen more strays and castaways step through the door of this house than in the 12 years I’ve lived here.

But for some reason… they find her.  Dogs and cats that turn up lost or thrown out although once, there was a threesome of baby possums that we found in our garage.  How they got there I still don’t know.

There have always been stray cats in the neighborhood.  Hell, we’ve got about eight or ten stray cats on our street alone.  So to have a kitten show up now and again is not surprising.  But it’s the dogs she always manages to stumble over that amaze me.  For those of you who have been following me since she and I met, Continue reading

this quote reminds me of The Deistette


I stumbled over this quote by Kahlil Gibran from his book, The Prophet.  I love that book and haven’t thought of this quote in some time.

love it…

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Emmie and I have been married a year today.  It’s been hard. But we’re still chugging away.  I find our best times, our funnest times are when we are by ourselves… no kids, no chores, no obligations… just us being friends.

Those times are very few and very far between.  But even during the mundane, the every day, with the burdens, the stress and tension of life… tension of each other…  we manage to brush off that stuff (might take a week or so but it gets brushed off) and laugh with each other and share pleasure.

[sigh]

We went on a date in early October of ’09.  That was five months ago.  I think the last date we had before that was in June of that year… maybe… I think.

I don’t know.

I love being married to her.  She is an amazing, beautiful, kind woman and wife.

I wish we had dated more though.

Love you Emmie.  Happy Anniversary.
The Deist and Deistette on a date Oct 2009